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Amethyst

Well, I lost my list of planned February posts, so I'm a little behind and frustrated. Believe it or not, a little effort goes into lining up the names I post, as I want each pair to fit well together. In my opinion, anyway. But, until I've covered each month's birth stone, you can at least expect me to have a post on a birth stone every month until August, since the first one I covered was this past September, sapphire.

Amethyst is February's birth stone, a beautiful purple gem, as you can see. I have long loved Amethyst as a baby name since, although it is a little quirky, it offers options for those of us who love names like Amber, Angelina, Amy, Violet, or any other names we are drawn to but would not use.

Like Violet, which is ever popular, Amethyst immediately conjures up the image of a distinct purple color, and like Ruby, also ever popular, it gives us thoughts of pretty gemstones. However, Amethyst has never graced the top 1000. In 2010 there were only 62 baby girls born named Amethyst.

Amethyst, a semi-precious form of quartz, is Greek, meaning "not intoxicated." The Greeks took this literally and wore amethyst as a form of protection against the effects of wine, sometimes even placing the amethyst in the wine itself. Tibetan Buddhists believe the stone is sacred to Buddha. Today people still believe in amethyst's calming properties, its ability to promote serenity, provide peace, and help with addictions.

With amethyst being such a common jewelry store find, and with accessable nicknames like Amy or Ama, it certainly won't be your fault if people have difficulty with this name. It should be just as easy for people to understand and pronounce as Amber, yet your child will probably never meet another in her lifetime.

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Forest

Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

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